International broadcast consultant Valerie Geller coaches talent, working with stations (and now podcasters) throughout the world to grow audiences and to become more powerful communicators and storytellers. Her fourth book, Beyond Powerful Radio – A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age is in a ninth printing from Focal press.
Valerie has made appearances at several Jacobs Media events and conferences over the years. No matter how many times you’ve see her speak at conventions and on panels, you learn something new every time. Here’s her “Guest List” submission:
Seth Resler had me at “hello.” He’d sent a brief note. In the car, on his way to start his new gig with Jacobs Media in Michigan, he’d been listening to the newly dropped audio-book version of Beyond Powerful Radio – A Communicator’s Guide to the Internet Age.
By way of full disclosure, I professionally adore ALL the Jacobs brothers, (gold star to Steve Goldstein, years ago, for making the introduction) and I was honored to have been a part of their 2014 DASH Conference.
Seth didn’t blink before saying YES, when I asked if he’d be willing to be part of an upcoming panel on podcasting. So when he invited me to write for the Jacobs Blog – there was only one answer.
Since many PDs and air talent are overworked and overloaded – the result of consolidation, and cutbacks – some days just getting it done can be a challenge. It’s easy to lose sight – if you program a station(s) – that creating powerful radio is an art form. Here are:
5 Things PDs Should Start Doing (if you’re not already…)
1. Content is, and always will be, king.
You’ll never go wrong keeping to the Powerful Radio Principles: Tell the truth, Make it Matter, and Never Be Boring.
To that end: Develop Talent – Hire original, fun, smart people with humor. Find storytellers. Work with them. Create a farm team: “Radio’s R&D.” Even if that means giving people podcasts under the station imprint, find and develop talent.
And hire a digital specialist. Become platform agnostic. Build your people, build your brand – and be anywhere and everywhere your audience can find you and listen. Aircheck, encourage self-checking if you don’t have the time to aircheck them yourself.
2. Take Chances – Lead, don’t follow.
Learn the lesson from Adele – just make your art. Stick to your vision. If you get held back by fear and other people’s vision, you worry about costs, get stuck in trends, or slam down ideas with: “That won’t work” or “We don’t do that here,” you lower your shot at winning.
Encourage ideas. Try them out. Stick with ideas (and people) long enough to give them a chance to catch on. Radio is littered with great ideas and talent that never got a long enough “runway” to catch on. Believe in your product.
3. Remember Your Listeners.
It’s easy to get jaded when caught up in day-to-day corporate minutia. Don’t. Radio has NOT lost its cachet for the general public. An example: The new Marvel Comics series, Jessica Jones on Netflix. A critical success, popular with the 18-34 demo, and one of the show’s main supporting characters is a female radio host. Sometimes it helps getting an outside reminder that the world sees radio as a very cool gig.
4. Listen. Focus on one thing at a time.
Multi-tasking looks great on paper… but it’s highly overrated. It’s so easy to get distracted, but if you give each task full attention, and if you pay attention, it’ll pay off.
5. Be a man (or woman) of your word. “Do Unto Others:” A good rule for managers. A good rule for life.
More Guest Lists
- Steve Goldstein: 6 Ways Podcasts Are Different Than Radio
- Rich Homberg: The 5 Things Today’s Radio Personalities Can Learn from J.P. McCarthy
- Blubrry’s Todd Cochrane: 5 Things You Should Know About Podcast Measurement
- James Cridland: 5 Countries You Should Look At For Radio Ideas
- John O’Connell: The 5 Biggest Challenges Launching a New Radio Station
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.